Dear Uncle Joe

Joseph W. O’Keefe, His heroic deeds are beyond belief!
Ah, but how very true they are, Evidenced by his receiving two Bronze Stars!
One emblazoned with the Bronze ‘V’, for exceptional valor, As you will see, there follows quite a few more.
Those two prestigious medals are just the start, Joe also received not just one, but two Purple Heart!
He enlisted, shipped off to South Vietnam, Fighting the enemy, dodging bullets and bombs.
Joe was a young lad, having just turned twenty, Sent to a faraway war, he would see and learn plenty.
June ’67 is when Joe arrives, Vietnam combat medic, Tasked with saving…and taking lives.
Joe spent many long days, even more sleepless nights, Tending to his wounded, while engaged in firefights.
A member of the Army’s elite 1st Air Cav, M-16 firing from his right hand, with his left, applying patchworks of morphine and salve.
His comrades knew him as “Doc O’Keefe”, For those who had fallen, he provided much needed relief!
Engaged in battle, he gave all he could give, Seeing friends die…seeing to it friends live.
Joe served in Nam until June ’68, His battlefield accomplishments weren’t just good, they were great!
Bronze Star w/Bronze ‘V’ for valor,/ Bronze Star,/ (2) Purple Heart,/ Combat Air Medal,/ Combat Air Assault Badge,/ Combat Medical Badge.
And on behalf of a “Grateful Nation”, His unit received two Presidential Citations.
Besides all of these, Joe received the Cross of Gallantry from the South Vietnamese.
Joe is in line for yet a few more, With his combat resume’, long overdue is his final score.
Fast forward to present day, Joe’s hair has turned just slightly gray, He battles these days, not with the “V.C”, he battles with the mighty V.A.
Fifty plus years removed from Vietnam, Still fighting the curse and affects of Napalm,
Along with the inner turmoil of P.T.S.D., haunted by visions of war, that he cannot un-see, scenes of agony…forever etched in his memory.
Now, even on those days when he’s feeling half bad, He continues to fight for his Air Cav comrades.
You see, Joe is always prepared to fight, He does have a big bark…he has a much bigger bite!
No surrender, no retreat, Joseph W. “Doc” O’Keefe will not be beat!
He is a real-life American hero, Ask him, he’ll humbly reply, “No”.
But a true hero he is indeed, Ask anyone who calls on him, when they are in need.
Now you may ask, how is it I know? Well this great Irish-American warrior, A man I love and respect deeply, is my…
Dear Uncle Joe.

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